Rotherham-based educational service provider Education Squared, which specialises in harnessing the performing arts to help students engage with material in a non-traditional way, has been founded since receiving funding from the UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund.

Education Squared offers an alternative to traditional educational methods whereby students learn about difficult issues such as bullying, race and sexuality through the performing arts.

UKSE, a subsidiary of Tata Steel tasked with assisting the economic regeneration of communities affected by changes in the steel industry, has provided Education Squared with £500 to support the initial start-up costs of the business.

Alongside this, the UKSE funding has allowed business owner Paul Grant to invest in theatrical props, scripts and workbooks required to run workshops in primary and secondary schools.

A former Performing Arts student at Rotherham College, Paul founded Education Squared after discovering a niche in the market for a service that combined his passion for theatre with his background in business development and customer service.

Paul commented: “The funding from UK Steel Enterprise has been instrumental to the establishment of Education Squared. Our workshops really come to life with the addition of the theatrical props and scripts that we have purchased as a result of the funding, so I want to thank UKSE for its support.

“It’s important that children experience elements of cross-curricular work in their education which encourages many to find greater success in the arts as it becomes imperative to their learning. Utilising drama, I take information and help the children understand a functional use for it, providing a hook into the material.”

Education Squared recently partnered with Bullying UK on an anti-bullying campaign, providing the organisation with theatrical material to encourage children to stand up to bullying, with the intention of teaching them to act consciously if faced with similar scenarios in the real world.

Paul continued: “The education sector is constantly evolving and therefore it is crucial to review our content, coming up with fresh ways in which to present curriculum material. To that end, we are currently in the process of designing a new workshop on road safety aimed at children in primary schools, and hope to finalise this soon.”

Allan Wood from UK Steel Enterprise said: “Paul has definitely found a gap in the market and has succeeded in creating a concept that encompasses emotional and curriculum-based learning. Paul’s business has started well, and I hope he can build on his initial successes.”

A subsidiary of Tata Steel, UK Steel Enterprise also provides equity and loan finance up to £1M to growing companies. Established businesses in need of growth finance can contact the UK Steel Enterprise team on 0800 915 1188.

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